Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has spoken out after the Brazilian FA moved to ban their players from playing in the Premier League this weekend.
As it stands, Fab, Alisson, Bobby Firmino and Leeds United’s Raphinha will be unavailable to Jurgen Klopp and Marcelo Bielsa on Sunday afternoon as the two sides meet at Elland Road.
Following a failure by clubs to release players for international duty, despite COVID-19 related concerns, the Brazilian FA asked FIFA for the ban and the request was duly obliged – as reported by the Independent.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash in West Yorkshire, Fabinho revealed his stance on the messy situation…
“It’s a difficult situation because we want to defend our country, we want to play for the Brazilian team,” the Liverpool star told ESPN Brasil.
“But I don’t think it’s just between club and national team, it’s a government rule, I don’t think the English FA could change that. I believe that FIFA would not be able to change either, neither Conmebol or the CBF.
“We players are in the middle of this kind of dispute, right, without much to do. Because it was a Premier League decision not to release us.
“And on the one hand, we understand, because on the way back I would have to stay ten days in a hotel. Maybe lose three games – and ten days is enough for you to lose a game rhythm. It’s tough.
“But we also understand the side of the national team, that the national team cannot have nine players. Nine players, that’s a lot of players, so we stay in the middle of this dispute hoping that there is really a solution.”
The Brazilian FA and FIFA have put the players in the middle of a very difficult situation, but fair play to Fabinho for saying something – even if he remained on the fence over it.
While it’s understandable there would be some frustration from within South America following the failure to release players from their clubs, surely there is some room for sympathy.
There is no way Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool would be willing to lose Fabinho, Alisson and Bobby Firmino for two or three games without a fight – and the same can be said of other managers and their clubs – but the reaction from Brazil and FIFA is petty.